Hit-and-run victim: Suspect needs to 'man up' and come forward

Hit-and-run victim: Suspect needs to 'man up' and come forward »Play Video
Kathryn Staudinger

PORTLAND, Ore. – A 14-year-old Salem girl who was seriously injured in a hit-and-run crash last week says the driver needs to “man up” and come forward.

Kathryn Staudinger is recovering at Doernbecher Children’s Hospital in Portland. She was walking with a friend across Lancaster Drive SE at Durbin Avenue in Salem on Friday night when the truck driver tried to beat a red light and hit her, police said. The walk signal was on when the two girls were in the crosswalk.

“When I saw the truck, I just froze and I didn’t do anything,” she said. “I was hoping he would swerve, but he didn’t. He just kept going.”

Staudinger said she was knocked unconscious in the crash. The truck was gone when she woke up on the pavement. Witnesses said the driver didn't even slow down.

“It’s not right for somebody to hit a child and then think that it’s OK if they don’t say anything,” said Staudinger. “He obviously knows that he hit me and he just needs to man up and say that it was him and take blame for it.”

Staudinger suffered a broken leg, broken wrist, four broken ribs and a ruptured spleen. She said her friend found plastic from a headlight in her hair after the crash, so she thinks the truck has front-end damage.

“I’m doing better than I was when I first got hit,” she said.

Investigators are looking for a 1980s Ford pickup truck, possibly an F150, with front-end damage on its right side. Different witnesses described the color as light brown, tan or possibly rusty. The truck had been lifted and had loud exhaust pipes.

Anyone with information about the crash is asked to call Marion County Sheriff's Deputy Stacy Rejaian at 503-576-0651.